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Bell's Porter - Bell's Brewery, Inc.

Bell's PorterBell's Porter

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,964 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1964
Reviews: 944
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%


Brewed by:
Bell's Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 02-06-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,964 | Reviews: 944 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of WVbeergeek
WVbeergeek

Ohio

4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a deep ruby brown chestnut when held up to the light appears with a magnifiant fluffy tan head leaving a big sturdy collar of lacing. Aroma: Not overly sweet but the deep roasted malted barley is robust filled with chocolate and coffee tones, nice and creamy edge. Taste: Flavor is slightly grainy with the dark roasts leaving bitterness in the finish a bit dry as well, ties flavors together solid porter from front to back dead on. Mouthfeel: Creamy texture paints the palate coats it done with a sweet rising moccha cream tone, very nice brew full body wonderful. Drinkability: The best sipping porter none go down easier than this one just so good and flavorful clean well crafted I have much thanks for aaronh for hunting this jewel down for me.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2003 20:13:51 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage
Gavage

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: arrived in a pint glass looking black as can be, with a 1" dark tan colored head. A spot or two of lace developed.

Smell: roasted tones and hints of chocolates.

Taste: roasted malts, dark chocolates, hint of espresso, and a mild bitterness. Solid and straight forward.

Mouthfeel: smooth with a hint of prickles at the start, very smooth at the finish. Medium bodied. Short aftertaste leaning towards the roasted tones.

Drinkability: this one goes down very easy for the style. Flavorful and this is considered a session porter in my book. Great on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

09-15-2006 12:21:28 | More by Gavage
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured dark brown with a nice sized tannish head. Nose of light chocolate, coffee, a little hops as well. Taste is sudbued. Nose is misleading. Roasted malts on taste with a dash of cocoa but thats about it. Not really impressed. it was good but not great. Thin mouthfeel and body. I expected more robust porter I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2009 17:19:43 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a brown bottle. Batch 8318.

This is a classic American porter and darned tasty. It's on the dry and drinkable side of the spectrum, maybe a little more brown than robust, like a Sierra Nevada Porter instead of an Anchor Porter. The flavor has rich roasted malts that give off toffee, caramel, and semisweet chocolate flavors with a multigrain bread undertone. Definitely a beer for porter lovers.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2008 02:01:50 | More by tempest
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two inches of tan head and moderate carbonation evident. No lacing or real retention.

s - Smells of chocolate, roasted malts, light coffee, vanilla, and light dark fruits. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coffee, roasted malts, chocolate and very light vanilla. A step down from the nose, but still good.

m - Medium to full body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

d - A nice porter. I liked the smell a lot and the taste was still pretty good. I wish the taste had less coffee as that slightly dominated the other tastes, but would certainly have again.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 23:46:49 | More by mdfb79
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The porter is black as oil with a small head and spots of lacing. As you sip the beer, hints of coffee-colored deep brown/black emerges.

S: The aroma is a chocolatey roasted malt aroma with a slight stale sour tartness.

T: The taste is chocolate and toffee sweetness with a very subtle tartness that, to me, epitomizes a good porter. The roasted malt finish is dry and provides a pleasing chocolate aftertaste.

M: The ale sits very well on the palate with a nice aftertaste.

D: The porter is very drinkable, an enjoyable darker brew for the fall season.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2006 13:02:01 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no freshness indication that I can find, pours rich, dark brown, darker tan head and so so lace left behind. Malty, vanilla nose. Tasty roasty, sweetish porter, more vanilla noted, then darker malts, some cafe au lait and milk chocolate and moderate hop dryadge late. Easy drinking porter, I would like to try this one with some BBQ, pleasant enough porter, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2008 13:06:04 | More by Billolick
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(Served in a Nonic glass)

A-This beer pours a thick dark black body with a slight brown hue and a nice creamy tan head.

S- Very strong roasted malt, caramel, and nutty aroma. Some faint notes of chocolate and coffee with biscuit aswell.

T- Nice roasted to burnt qualities in the malt. Some coffee flavors with a gentle hops bitterness and a slight tanginess.

M- Nice medium-light body with nice gentle carbonation

D- This is a wonderful porter and a very drinkable beer. It has all the big taste of a porter but the grain bill is not a watered down stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2005 22:53:53 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of jdhilt
jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five finger brown head that fades to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Nearly black, faint hints of mahogany color. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Slight baker's chocolate nose. Starts balanced, flavor is baker's chocolate. $1.49 for a 12oz bottle from Chalet Party Goshen, In. Batch #7156.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2006 23:51:17 | More by jdhilt
Photo of Jason
Jason

Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to UncleJimbo for this sample!

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a batch code on the back label … this means nothing to me as far as freshness.

Appearance: Thick frothy head forms as soon as I poured, not a gusher but there is a good amount of carbonation here. Black, black and black.

Smell: Fruity, malty with a roasted … almost burnt biscuit aroma. Mild buttery diacetyl in the back.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Semi-smooth with a creamy medium body. Mildly acrid burnt snap up front, lots of burnt husk flavor … not astringent but it has a bite. Solid yet balancing hop bitterness plays with the dry malt character. Finishes with a drying burnt chicory flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: Just an easy drinking middle of the road porter that has a good amount of flavor pack in it.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2005 19:06:12 | More by Jason
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to CRJMellor for this one.

Batch 7662

Pours a dark brown color, nice carbonation, nice fizzy tan head, very nice sticky lacing afterwards and throughout the drink. The nose is slightly malty, and caramel. The taste pretty much follows the nose, malty and slight caramel. Light-Medium body. Drinkable, a nice little porter.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2007 23:22:06 | More by Wasatch
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown color with slight mahogany edges and a thin foamy beige head. Roasted malty aroma with sweet chocolate notes. This beer tastes kind of smokey with lots of roasted chocolate maltiness, oatmeal, caramel and burnt toast. Slightly creamy body with a dry bitter finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2008 06:43:05 | More by corby112
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with CRJMellor. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a light brown 1/2" of thick, foamy head, and laced well. Barely translucent dark brown brew. Deep, dark malts such as coffee and chocolate and maybe, just maybe a smidgen of smoke, dominate the aroma, and the flavor exhibits these characteristics as well. Extremely smooth, and the coffee/chocolate flavors fight for dominance on the tongue. An excellent represntation of the porter style.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2004 23:14:41 | More by ppoitras
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a mug just for giggles.

Deep dark brown color, redish around the edges. Pours with a nice 3/4 inch head that is slightly tanned. Has a bit of lacing. Initially this beer smells like yeast and I don't pick up much more from it in the scent department other than trace bits of coffee. (More chocolate/coffee scent comes through as you come close to finishing the beer.) Taste is kinda bland, very minor chocolate and coffee notes but I keep feeling like this beer seems to be watered down. Not much carbination, mouthfeel is ok but nothing exciting. It is well balanced and I gotta admit it is easy drinking but I am not as excited about it as I was the other products from Bells which is surprising because I am a big fan of porter.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 21:49:19 | More by stakem
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's a rare Bell's kind of night in California. If I wanted to go all-out, I could eat some Taco Bell with the beer, however there's no way that my stomach will allow that. Just the beer tonight, and that's fine. Let's add Bell's Porter to the line. Another 12 ounce bottle, and another on to the beer:

More than half an inch of semi-soapy foam sits on top a beer that's cola black with reddish hues. Retention is modest, leaving a few spots of lace around the glass. It smells like something else was added to this porter....a big crate of milk perhaps? The aroma is milk sweet and still features an edge of roasted malt.

Respectable taste. It starts with a little roast, then comes in a mocha-like sweetness, a milk sweet accent, and a spot of grassy hops. The beer is lighter-medium bodied, has a lightly roasted aftertaste, and does go down easy.

In the world of porters, Bell's sits a tick above average. It may not sound like much to some, but because I adore porters more than many other styles, I wouldn't shy away to "porter" myself another bottle!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2014 05:49:17 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.31/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bell's Porter is black but far from opaque; loads of terra brown highlights show up in the light and even render peeks of clarity amidst the shadowy, dark complexion. Its thin but persistent head provides an embroidery of gauze-coloured lacing only a skilled seamstress could replicate.

Coffee grounds combine with enough vanilla extract and brownie flavour to make the aroma a little more sweet than roasty. It certainly has a good quantity of both; this smells vivid and delicious and is clearly a beer of the utmost craftsmanship and quality ingredients.

The first sip has enough chocolate and vanilla flavour to make me want to run out to the nearest ice cream shop. It simulates the gratification of a slice of dark caramel-chocolate cheesecake and side of Caffè Americano; it's a mocha flavour right off the menu at Starbucks.

All these rich, dessert-y flavours exist within the thinner, lighter framework of a porter and lack the smoke, burnt roast qualities, and weightiness of a stout. Make no mistake, however, this is about as full-bodied as porters come; this is hearty as a chunky steak and mushroom pie.

The truly dark, rich flavours are normally reserved for stouts but there's little that Bell's Porter doesn't provide. Whether you own a massive beer cellar or simply a bottle opener, this is a must-have beer to keep on-hand. Trade, plan a road trip to Michigan - do whatever it takes.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2013 23:51:35 | More by biegaman
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears an opaque black with deep chestnut toned edges when held to the light. A thick, dark tan head of foam slowly fades into a mild film and hearty collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, mild roast, turbinado sugar, ripe fruit, milk chocolate, toasted nuts, espresso, and yeasty, devil's food cake.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with standout ripe fruit and yummy dusted cocoa powder cake.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, fruity up front, leading to a spritzy dance along the palate before becoming a roasty, dry finish.
Addictive and extremely drinkable at under 6%. I think I just found a new session beer!
Try pairing this one with Mole Chicken.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2008 00:45:46 | More by weeare138
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark brown, some red highlights lurking on the edges, a pretty thick tan head, some nice lacing on the glass. Smell is chocolate, mocha, toffee, very roasty and rich. Taste is chocolate roast, coffee, clean and malty goodness, toffee and nice roast bitterness. Medium bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth and my favourite porter.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2005 17:57:32 | More by Viggo
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown appearance, almost no head to the beer. Aroma was earthy, slightly hoppy even. Tiny cocao feel to it, not chocolate.

Taste, nice, thoughts of Black Butte Porter come to mind, a hoppy porter close to a india brown ale type of beer. Dry. Pretty easy to drink, not super thick, no alcohol noticeable.

Nutty mouthfeel, coffee malts, nothing imperialized, a good commoner porter, sessionable, goes good with hockey. Good carbonation keeps the beer lively and light relative to its color.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 18:21:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is dark ruby, almost black. It pours a pillowy cream light brown head that has some retention. There really nice chocolate and roast tones on the nose. Very nice bitterness in the taste coming from the roasted malt. There's a bittersweet chocolate taste making its presence known as well. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel. Medium body. A nice lingering bitterness. Very solid porter.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2002 17:18:26 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark cola color with a cherry tan head.

S: light roasted malt, coffee and dry chocolate.

T: For flavor there is some dry chocolate, and coffee notes along with a bittering earthy hoppiness and a slight smoky woodiness.

M: a light creamy and milky texture. A nice clean finish of coffee and chocolate that fades off the tongue leaving you wanting more. There is a slight acidic nature as well in the finish.

D: Overall a solid good beer, enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2008 23:31:47 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bell's Porter

Pours a deep brown color, off white khaki colored head forms and leaves some lace down the glass. Aroma is full of roasted malts, chocolate, dark bread, and toast. In the flavor, nice roasted malt presence, undertones of coffee, nuts, and chocolate. Mild bitterness, and little hop flavor. Medium bodied feel with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, a stand out porter, worth getting every time.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 15:01:38 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on a recent trip to Ann Arbor and I wasn't disappointed. It poured a nice dark brown with ruby highlights and a dense, light brown head that showed good retention and lacing on the glass. Very pretty. The aroma was a pleasant combination of rich roasted malts and nuttiness. The flavour was very malty, with plenty of roasted character and a light, balanced bitterness. The finish was slightly dry and conducive to having another bottle/pint. Medium bodied and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2004 02:39:23 | More by DrJay
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at Young Augustine's in Atlanta.

Pours one shade from black with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of heavily roasted malts with good amounts of unsweetened chocolate and light amounts of roasted coffee.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Robust roasted malt flavors kick things off and are joined almost immediately by moderate amounts of unsweetened chocolate flavors and hints of char. Light amounts of sweeter toasted malt flavors make an appearance before fading into a solidly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with surprisingly active yet grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass quickly and could have another.

Overall I was a fan of this however I wish I'd caught it a bit later to see how it developed in the firkin. Either way, a solid porter that's worth a shot.

Serving type: cask

08-05-2010 00:35:13 | More by glid02
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Tasted in a Bass trademark ale glass
A - Opaqe deep brown no light pervades this dark ale. A Pale tan head quickly recedes leaving a thin lace behind.

S - Scents of Roasted coffe with cream and nuts. Crisp fruit aroma and roasted grain lingers in the background.

T - Crisp smooth flavor of brown malts. Creamy and nutty toffee and slightly vegetal flavor emerges . Minimal hop taste stealthily hides in the midst. Woody dryness as it warms and almost burn bean essence plays with the tongue as the creamy caramel sweetness relaxes.

M - Moderately full, chewy sweetness dominates with active carbonation and creamy edges.

D - Very good in the drinkability category and represents the style well. It is a sweet beer, so multiple tastings seems difficult. The flavor is pleasant and is good to return to on occasion for a sweet dark treat.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2007 14:36:13 | More by Slatetank
Bell's Porter from Bell's Brewery, Inc.
87 out of 100 based on 1,964 ratings.